Mekong countries' response to the COVID-19 pandemic

The information on this page was last updated in June 2021. Visit MMN’s Migration News Archive for the latest information. 

This page was created as part of MMN’s ongoing efforts to monitor the role of Mekong countries in protecting migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each country profile below begins with an overview of migration along with statistics to give context to the cross-border flows in the region. It is followed by a summary of the government initiatives in safeguarding overseas nationals or the in-country migrant population during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Additionally, a timeline supplements each profile to highlight the important events that have taken place in relation to COVID-19 and migration since March 2020. 

  • Cambodia
  • Myanmar
  • Vietnam
  • Lao PDR
  • Thailand
  • Overview
  • Timeline

Context of Migration and Statistics

An estimated 1,100,000 Cambodians live abroad according to 2020 figures. Neighbouring Thailand is the most popular destination for Cambodian migrant workers. As of May 2021, 192,161 Cambodian nationals had migrated to Thailand through processes established under a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Cambodia and Thailand in 2015. Meanwhile, 140,546 Cambodians were completing the nationality verification process as part of the registration process for undocumented migrants inside Thailand. A further 70,076 Cambodians remained in Thailand under the Thai government’s 4 August 2020 Resolution that allows those who possess the requisite documentation to continue employment until the end of May 2022. Many more undocumented workers are in Thailand, with their number believed to exceed that of documented Cambodian migrants.

Besides Thailand, other key destination countries for Cambodian workers include Korea (with 32,594 documented Cambodian workers as of April 2021) and Malaysia (3,321 as of September 2019).

Summary of Responses to COVID-19

Since the beginning of the outbreak, the International Organization for Migration reports that around 120,000 migrants returned to Cambodia from various destination countries (up until December 2020). Zooming in on the migration corridor between Cambodia and Thailand, a total of 55,666 returnees (between March and November 2020) accessed the major border crossing in Poipet. Of these individuals, 31,000 returned under their own steam or were assisted in some form by the Cambodian authorities. More than 24,000 (up to 20%) were formally deported, according to government figures obtained by MMN. 

The following provides a brief summary of the Cambodian government’s efforts to assist migrant workers during the outbreak:

  • Repatriation: The Cambodian government arranged operations to repatriate their nationals in some destination countries. In Malaysia, the Cambodian Embassy arranged eight repatriation flights in 2020 to bring back 1,074 Cambodians, including migrant workers. Migrants reportedly paid 1,000 ringgit, or 230 USD for the flight. There is no reported operation to repatriate nationals from Thailand.
  • Quarantine: Migrant returnees are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Those returning from Thailand are required to undergo quarantine at facilities along the Thai-Cambodian border. Accommodation and food expenses are covered by the government. 
  • Overseas Assistance: Cambodian Embassies in several destination countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, and Korea provided surgical masks, disinfectant, food, and monetary assistance to migrant workers and overseas students. The Cambodian Embassy in Malaysia was reported to have provided food aid to 3,894 Cambodian families. In Thailand, the Cambodian Embassy assisted its nationals by helping them extend their documents free of charge, and providing support to those in critical condition with COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Government Assistance to Returnees: An MMN research in 2021 finds that migrant returnees and their family face difficulty in finding well-paying jobs that provide a stable income. Rising debt and an inability to re-migrate to Thailand through regular channels during the pandemic are additional sources of hardship. In August 2020, the National Committee for Counter Trafficking (NCCT) in collaboration with UN bodies launched a programme specifically targeting migrant returnees, which aims to provide 1. better access to COVID-19 information;  2. “Essential healthcare services” including “mental health and GBV [Gender-based Violence] support, child and maternal care; and 3. “Individual or community economic reintegration package”.
  • International Cooperation during the Pandemic: The Cambodian and Thai governments coordinated in the decision to extend legal documents of Cambodian migrant workers who are already in Thailand. Based on this agreement, migrants in Thailand can have their travel documents extended at the Embassy free of charge. In addition, the two governments have reportedly agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding that would allow Cambodian migrant workers, whose contracts would soon expire, to extend their contracts for a two-year period.
  • Support from other Stakeholders: Workers’ Union (The National Union Alliance Chamber of Cambodia) and recruitment agency associations (Manpower Association of Cambodia and Association of Cambodian Recruitment Agency) in interviews with MMN claimed that they have assisted migrant workers who lost their jobs and whose documents expired. They also assisted in accessing social protection and claiming compensation as well as other social security benefits in destination countries. However, in Thailand, only a sizable number of migrant workers can benefit from the support of recruitment agencies, as most migrate without using their services. An MMN research in 2021 also finds that among those interviewed who used an agency to migrate, none received any COVID-related information from their agencies.

19 March 2020

In response to the first wave of COVID-19 outbreak in Thailand, the Cambodian Embassy in Thailand urged migrant workers to stay put in the country to contain the spread of the virus.

23 March 2020

The Thai government closed the land border checkpoint between Thailand and Cambodia. However, in the days before and after the border closure, large numbers of Cambodian migrants arrived in an attempt to cross.

8 April 2020

The Cambodian government set up quarantine facilities for migrant workers returning on land or by air. All migrant workers are subject to a 14-day quarantine.

27 May 2020

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that borders were to reopen to Cambodian nationals who were stranded abroad. They were not required to obtain a report certifying that they were COVID-free before returning to the country.

11 August 2020

The National Committee for Counter Trafficking (NCCT) in collaboration with UN bodies launched an economic relief plan targeting migrant returnees.

20 December 2020

In response to the second wave of COVID-19 outbreak in Thailand, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen urged migrant workers to stay put in Thailand, and at the same time, ordered 70 military trucks to transport returnees from the border to quarantine facilities.

21 December 2020

The Cambodian government suspended recruitment agencies from sending migrant workers to Thailand.

7 March 2021

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that only returnees from Thailand who were suspected of having COVID-19 would be subject to quarantine. However, as Thailand experienced a third wave of the pandemic beginning from March, the decision appears to have been rescinded as returnees were required to take COVID-19 tests and were subject to mandatory quarantine upon return.

  • Overview
  • Timeline

Context of Migration and Statistics

The International Labour Organization estimates that as many as 10% of the country’s labour force resides abroad. Neighbouring Thailand is by far the most popular destination country for Myanmar workers. As of May 2021, 372,292 migrants had migrated through processes established by an MOU signed between Myanmar and Thailand in 2016; 758,338 were completing the nationality verification process that allows undocumented migrants in Thailand to register with the authorities and regularise their status. A further 159,560 workers remained in Thailand under the Thai government’s 4 August 2020 Resolution that allows those who possess the requisite documentation to continue employment until the end of May 2022. There are at least as many undocumented workers in the country as there are documented. 

As of September 2019, 140,461 Myanmar migrant workers were officially working in Malaysia. However, the number of documented and undocumented migrant workers could actually be as high as 420,000. China is also a popular destination country for Myanmar migrant workers, although data thereof can be hard to come by. A further 20,844 migrants work in Korea as of April 2021. 

Summary of Responses to COVID-19

All information mentioned below as responses of the Myanmar government only refers to responses of Myanmar civilian government before the military coup in February 1st, 2021. MMN will present information related to the situation of Myanmar migrants after the coup in a separate section of the website.

Between March 2020 when the COVID-19 outbreak began and October 2020, 167,000 migrant workers returned from Thailand, Myanmar, and China. Official figures in November 2020 suggest that approximately 122,000 returned from Thailand alone (Government figures obtained by MMN). The following provides a brief summary of the Myanmar government’s efforts to assist migrant workers during the outbreak: 

  • Repatriation: The Myanmar government arranged operations to repatriate their nationals in some destination countries. In Thailand, the Myanmar Embassy arranged buses to transport stranded Myanmar migrant workers between 26 May and 30 June. Migrants wishing to be repatriated were required to register with the Embassy and pay 1,050 Baht (USD 33.25) towards the cost of transportation. In total, 10 buses transported 210 Myanmar migrants per day from Bangkok to the Myanmar border. In Malaysia, the Myanmar Embassy arranged more than 100 flights to repatriate stranded migrant workers and Myanmar nationals who were detained at immigration detention centres. A plane ticket could be bought from the Myanmar Embassy for 759 Ringgit, or 183 USD.  
  • Quarantine: Migrant returnees are subject to quarantine for a 14-day period in facilities. Quarantine for those officially repatriated are provided free of charge, although returnees who tested positive for COVID-19 are required to shoulder the cost of subsequent medical treatment, according to an MMN key informant interview. 
  • Information Dissemination: The Myanmar Embassies in Thailand and Malaysia used their Facebook pages as channels to disseminate information. The Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok created its official Facebook page on 25 July 2020 (prior to that, the Labour Attaché office hosted its own page). Information on the page includes absentee voting procedures for Myanmar migrants in Thailand, and details of the various services offered by the Embassy, including: letters of recommendation; passport extensions; replacement of lost passports; and witness letters for the purpose of personal identification. The official Facebook page of the Myanmar Embassy in Malaysia contains information related to the renewal of passports and certificates of identity, and details of repatriation operations, including the method of purchasing a flight ticket. Information posted on the Myanmar Embassies’ Facebook pages appeared in the Burmese language. No information was made available in any of Myanmar’s various ethnic minority languages.
  • Overseas Assistance: The Myanmar Embassy in Thailand supported migrants with issues such as passport/document confiscation and wage loss. It also facilitated the release of several migrants who were detained at immigration detention centres in Thailand, and organized advance voting for 10,000 Myanmar nationals residing in the country. In terms of supporting access to social protection, the Embassy assisted workers register under the Social Security Fund to apply for unemployment benefits. However, very few migrant workers actually received unemployment benefits owing to the complicated procedures (MMN key informant interview). According to the official Facebook page of the Myanmar Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, the Embassy facilitated the release and repatriation of migrant detainees at immigration detention centres, arranged repatriation flights for stranded Myanmar nationals, assisted with the renewal of travel documents, and arranged advance voting.
  • Government Assistance to Returnees: Cash assistance and food provisions have been periodically provided to low income households, though not specifically targeting migrant returnees. This has included three separate handouts of 20,000 kyats (USD 15) and one of 40,000 kyats (USD 30) per household. Reports indicate that these handouts have not been distributed in a systematic way, with many low income households excluded for no apparent reason.

 

18 March 2020

The Myanmar government closed its land borders with India, China, Thailand, and Lao PDR. However, after the border closure, large numbers of Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand arrived at the border in an attempt to cross.

Recruitment agencies were ordered to stop processing applications of prospective migrants to all destination countries.

 

22 March 2020

Returnees from Thailand were asked to quarantine for 14-days at home owing to limited quarantine facilities. The government later announced that returnees would be subject to a 14-day quarantine at quarantine centres as government facilities were being prepared. Migrant workers were also instructed to return after 15 April.

 

28 April 2020

The Myanmar government launched the COVID-19 economic relief plan, though the plan is not specifically targeting Myanmar migrant workers and returnees.

 

22 May 2020

The Myanmar Embassy in Thailand and the Thai government arranged buses to transport stranded migrant workers to the Thai-Myanmar land border checkpoint. The buses were to run until 20 June 2020.

 

8 August 2020

The Myanmar Embassy in Malaysia announced plans to arrange flights to repatriate more than 10,000 stranded undocumented migrant workers in Malaysia.

 

13 August 2020

The Myanmar Overseas Employment Agency Federation announced that prospective migrants could resume travel to Japan and Korea using a recruitment agency. On 18 August, the Ministry of Health and Sport of Myanmar announced that migrants travelling to Thailand, Japan, and Korea were required to take a COVID-19 test before departure.

 

December 2020 to January 2021

Thailand experienced the second wave of the pandemic in the country. Myanmar migrant workers in Samut Sakhon were barred from leaving the province, and were among those who tested positive for the virus.

 

February to March 2021

The military coup in Myanmar prompted protests among migrants across Thailand, which Thai authorities warned were in violation of the National Emergency Decree.

 

1-15 June 2021

The Myanmar government stopped admitting migrant returnees from Thailand at the border for 15 days. On 15 June, the government announced that a maximum of 200 migrant workers can cross the border every other day.

  • Overview
  • Timeline

Context of Migration and Statistics

An estimated 650,000 Vietnamese nationals work abroad in over 40 territories and countries. Japan and Taiwan remain the two major destination economies, accounting for almost 90% of the total number of documented Vietnamese migrants deployed overseas. Of late, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of Vietnamese migrants going to Japan, accounting for nearly 50% of the total number of deployed workers. Korea is also a popular destination country, though the number of Vietnamese migrants in the country (around 29,086 as of April 2021) is much lower compared to that in Japan and in Taiwan.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the rate of outbound migration has seen a drastic decrease. Throughout 2020, 78,600 Vietnamese workers migrated overseas, including 38,891 who traveled to Japan, 34,537 to Taiwan, and 1,309 to Korea. In comparison, in 2019, 152,530 workers migrated abroad, of whom 83,000 went to Japan, 54,480 to Taiwan, and 7,215 to Korea.

Summary of Responses to COVID-19

The following provides a brief summary of the Vietnamese government’s efforts to assist migrant workers during the outbreak:

  • Repatriation: The Vietnamese government arranged operations to repatriate their nationals in some destination countries. Between April 2020 and January 2021, the Vietnamese government arranged 242 flights to repatriate 66,882 Vietnamese nationals, including migrant workers. 
  • Quarantine: Returnees are subject to a 21-day quarantine upon arrival in Vietnam (previously 14 days until 5 May 2021). Whereas quarantine had been provided free of charge in the first few months of the pandemic, beginning from 1 September 2020, those accessing government quarantine facilities have been charged 120,000 Vietnam Dong, or 5.25 USD per day. During the quarantine period, returnees are required to take two PRC tests for COVID-19: once upon their arrival at the quarantine facility and once before they leave. The two tests combined cost 1,468,000 Vietnam Dong, or 64 USD, in total. Quarantine-related costs are possible factors that some Vietnamese overseas nationals access informal channels to return to the country. 
  • Information Dissemination: The Vietnamese Embassy in Japan and the Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan have little information on their website for overseas workers. They do not maintain a social media presence. However, the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan currently has a hotline that migrant workers can contact via phone or other communication applications such as Viber, Zalo, and Line. 
  • Social Protection: Some migrant returnees are entitled to receive support from Overseas Support Fund. 

21 March 2020

The Vietnamese government suspended all incoming international flights.

1 April 2020

The Vietnamese government closed its land borders with neighbouring Lao PDR and Cambodia to contain the spread of COVID-19.

5 April 2020

Vietnamese recruitment agencies were suspended from sending migrant workers abroad.

6 July 2020

The Vietnamese government announced plans to repatriate 14,000 nationals from overseas destinations.

15 September 2020

The Vietnamese government allowed six flight routes to re-open, including routes to the popular migrant destinations Japan and Taiwan.

13 January 2021

Japan, the most popular destination for Vietnamese workers in 2020, imposed a ban on the entry of all non-resident foreign nationals, including migrant workers, to contain the spread of the outbreak.

24 February 2021

Stranded Vietnamese workers in Korea whose Employment Permit System contracts expired were granted an extended residence permit. The permit allowed them to become seasonal employees until March 2022.

19 May 2021

Taiwan, the second most popular destination for Vietnamese workers in 2020, suspended the entry of all non-resident foreign nationals, including migrant workers, to contain the spread of the outbreak.

31 May 2021

The Vietnamese Embassy in Lao PDR announced that foreigners from India, Thailand, Cambodia, and Lao PDR were barred from entering Vietnam. Vietnamese nationals were required to register with the Embassy before returning home.

  • Overview
  • Timeline

Context of Migration and Statistics

The Lao government estimates in 2016 that approximately 600,000 Lao nationals work abroad. Thailand presents itself as a popular destination of employment for Lao people, hosting an estimated 50% of all outbound migrants from Lao PDR, according to the International Labour Organization. As of May 2021, 140,424 Lao migrant workers arrived in Thailand through processes established by a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the governments of Lao PDR and Thailand in 2016. Meanwhile, an additional 37,011 were completing the Nationality Verification process to acquire documentation status. 13,046 Lao nationals were allowed to continue employment until the end of May 2022 as part of the Thai government’s 4 August 2020 Resolution.

Summary of Responses to COVID-19

The following provides information on the Lao government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Repatriation: There have been reported instances in which the Lao government arranged operations to repatriate stranded overseas nationals. In November 2020, the Lao government arranged charter flights to repatriate workers in fishery who were stranded in Malaysia. Migrant workers reportedly paid USD $560 for the flight ticket. However,  the repatriation flights were delayed until mid-January, when 171 were repatriated to Lao PDR while the rest 151 awaited the second repatriation flight. In addition, Lao nationals stranded in Thailand are reportedly required to submit documentation to the Lao Embassy and obtain a health certificate before they are allowed to return. 
  • Quarantine: Returnees are subject to a 14-day quarantine at one of Lao PDR’s 70 quarantine facilities. The conditions, food provision, and availability of health equipment vary across these facilities
  • Information Dissemination: The Lao Embassy in Thailand does not have an operational website (as of June 2021). It is unclear how Lao migrants in Thailand receive essential information on Covid-19 related regulations in Thailand, border closure, quarantine upon return, etc.
  • Government support for migrants and returnees: Lao PDR government reopened all of its Migrant Worker Resource Centres (MRCs) starting from July 2020 to assist migrant workers via its hotline and walk-in appointments. The department of labour of the southern province Savannakhet also reportedly assisted returnees claim unemployment benefits owed to them under the Thai social security system.

 

13 March 2020

The Lao government closed some checkpoints along Lao PDR’s borders with Cambodia and Vietnam.

 

17-23 March 2020

The Thai government began to close checkpoints along Thailand’s border with Lao PDR. Shortly after the border closure, a border checkpoint temporarily reopened as large numbers of Lao migrants arrived in an attempt to cross.

 

12 May 2020

The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare registered unemployed Lao nationals, including migrant returnees, in a bid to assist them in getting re-employed at home.

 

22 July 2020

The Thai Department of Employment announced that migrant workers from Lao PDR, along with those from Cambodia and Myanmar, are allowed to travel to Thailand using procedures outlined in Memoranda of Understanding signed between the Thai government and governments of the three countries of origin, or if they hold a re-entry visa. Migrant workers are subject to a 14-day quarantine period upon arrival in Thailand.

 

8 December 2020

The Lao government announced plans to repatriate stranded Lao fishery workers in Malaysia.

 

26 April 2021

The governments of Lao PDR and Thailand reached an agreement that would allow undocumented Lao workers to return home without being punished or fined. Upon return, quarantine would be provided free of charge.

  • Overview
  • Timeline

While Thailand is a longstanding country of origin, this page focuses on Thailand as a destination country for millions of migrant workers who come mainly from Myanmar, Cambodia, Lao PDR, and to a lesser extent, Vietnam. The information under the “Thailand” tab highlights Thai policies regarding migrant workers in the country.

Context of Migration and Statistics

Thailand is the most popular destination country for migrant workers from Cambodia, Myanmar, and Lao PDR. As of 25 May 2021, 2,090,281 registered migrants worked in Thailand, of whom 705,098 arrived in the country using procedures outlined in Memoranda of Understanding separately signed between the Thai government and governments of Myanmar (2016), Cambodia (2015), and Lao PDR (2016). A total of 935,895 undocumented migrants were completing nationality verification to gain registered status. Furthermore, 242,682 individuals were allowed to continue employment until the end of May 2022 as part of the Thai government’s 4 August 2020 Resolution. There is also a large number of undocumented migrants in the country who eke out a living in the informal economy. 

While this section focuses on Thailand as a destination country for Mekong migrants, many Thai workers migrate abroad in search of employment opportunities. Throughout 2020, 28,997 Thais are known to work abroad in several countries. Japan, Taiwan, and Finland are the most popular destinations in 2020.

Summary of Responses to COVID-19

In the early stages of the pandemic, an estimated 500,000 migrant workers lost their jobs in Thailand as a result of the Covid-induced economic downturn. While many hundreds of thousands of migrants are estimated to have left Thailand before and after the borders closed in March 2020, many who remained in the country experienced difficulties accessing forms of government assistance and, for those who became unemployed, receiving the severance pay due to them from employers. 

The following provides a summary of the Thai government’s measures in relation to migrant workers in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Border closure: Thailand closed its borders in March 2020 to contain the spread of COVID-19. However, the government temporarily reopened some land border checkpoints in response to the sheer weight of migrants attempting to cross. On 5 April 2020, in a bid to prevent unauthorised border crossing, Thailand’s Department of Land Transport instructed bus drivers not to let migrant workers board buses travelling to border provinces. When official repatriation operations were later arranged by actors from countries of origin, many migrants who decided to return to their countries of origin had to pay for the expensive repatriation services laid on by their own government, recruitment agencies, or brokers. There has also been a crackdown on migrants attempting to cross borders by unofficial means.
  • Changes in the migration policies: In response to the large number of migrants who were laid off and lost documentation status, the Thai Cabinet approved measures to ease immigration restrictions on 24 March 2020, allowing registered migrant workers and their child dependents to extend their leave to remain and permission to work in the country until 30 June 2020. Leave was further extended until 31 July 2020, and then again until November 2020. On 4 August 2020, the Thai Cabinet approved the Labour Ministry’s plan to allow more than half a million migrants who possess the requisite documentation to continue employment until the end of May 2022. Following a further extension of the amnesty until 14 February 2023, 241,537 migrant workers had registered with the Thai authorities as of December 2020.
  • Social Protection during the Pandemic: To support workers during the pandemic, the Thai Cabinet twice approved reductions in employee contributions towards the Social Security System (SSS). For those ineligible for the SSS who work in the informal economy, the government implemented a one-off cash payment known as the “nobody will be left behind” scheme. All COVID-19 patients in the country are also eligible to free treatment. However, migrant workers who contribute to the SSS were only made eligible to receive unemployment benefits after the Thai government received much criticism. Migrant workers not enrolled in the SSS or who had made insufficient contributions were also expressly excluded from accessing the “Nobody will be left behind” scheme.

    Furthermore, the difficulties faced by migrants attempting to access benefits during the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted and exacerbated pre-existing issues with Thailand’s social protection mechanisms. These issues include: the limited coverage of the SSS among migrant workers of different migration statuses; complicated procedures associated with the application of social security benefits; and language barriers when accessing healthcare.

 

20-23 March 2020

The Thai government began to close its land borders with neighbouring Cambodia, Myanmar, Lao PDR, and Malaysia. Shortly after the border closure, some border checkpoints were temporarily reopened in response to the sheer weight of migrants attempting to cross.

 

24 March 2020

The Thai Cabinet approved measures to ease immigration restrictions, allowing registered migrant workers and their child dependents to extend their leave to remain and permission to work in the country until 30 June 2020. Leave was later further extended until 31 July 2020, and then again until November 2020.

 

26 March 2020

The Thai government issued a National Emergency Decree that authorizes the government to implement policies such as imposing curfews, banning public gatherings, and restricting travelling. The Emergency Decree is still in force at the time of writing (June 2021).

 

5 April 2020

The Thai Department of Land Transport requested bus companies not to transport migrant workers to border provinces by invoking the Communicable Diseases Act B.E. 2558 (2015).

 

22 July 2020

The Thai Department of Employment announced that migrant workers from Cambodia, Myanmar, and Lao PDR are allowed to travel to Thailand using procedures outlined in Memoranda of Understanding signed between the Thai government and governments of the three countries of origin, or if they hold a re-entry visa. Migrant workers are subject to a 14-day quarantine period upon arrival in Thailand.

 

4 August 2020

The Thai Cabinet approved the Labour Ministry’s plan to allow more than half a million migrants who possess the requisite documentation to continue employment until the end of May 2022. The amnesty was later further extended to the end of February 2023.

 

December 2020 to January 2021

Thailand experienced a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases that would culminate in the second wave of the pandemic in the country. Migrant fishery workers in Samut Sakhon were among those who tested positive for the virus, and were barred from leaving the province. Thai authorities used discriminatory rhetoric in scapegoating migrant workers for the outbreak.

 

March to June 2021

Thailand experienced a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases that would culminate in the third and hitherto most serious wave of the pandemic in the country. Between April and May, approximately 10,000 migrant workers from Cambodia, Myanmar, Lao PDR, and Vietnam were infected with the virus. Authorities responded to the outbreak by confining migrants to their workplaces or dormitories where active cases were detected.